Monday, February 16, 2009

'Explore a fungible workforce to enable quick re-deployment'

‘HR must sustain the human capital advantage’

With the global economic slowdown showing signs of moving into a recession, the times are no doubt tough, observes N. S. Rajan, Partner and National Director, Human Capital Services, Ernst & Young. A liquidity crunch, falling consumer demand and erosion of investments have put organisations under tremendous pressure to control their expenses and the HR (human resource) function too, therefore, has to quickly adjust its focus in order to support the business needs, he adds, during a recent e-mail interaction with The New Manager.


'It is always difficult to get back the brand image that is lost'

Online space beckons

A key lesson to be learned from this recession is to really understand the use of forward-looking metrics and to be able to relocate scarce resources to the most potentially profitable clients as opposed to the clients who have been profitable, advises Dr V. Kumar, Professor of Marketing, Georgia State University, US. Does he see a possibility that online marketing and sales becomes the predominant method when economic recovery happens in due course? "Online marketing cannot become the predominant method for all categories in the near future," avers Dr Kumar, during the course of a recent e-mail interaction with eWorld. He concedes, however, that certain products and services can be primarily marketed through the use of social network marketing.


'Monitor the tone from leadership and throughout the organisation'

Tasks ahead for audit committees

Foremost in the list of ‘ten to-dos for audit committees in 2009’ that Mr Sammy Medora, Chairman of KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute, draws up is this imperative: “Closely monitor the impact of the economic crisis on the company; focus on financial forecasts and early-warning indicators.” Understand the crisis’ impact on the company’s earnings, cash flow, liquidity and compliance with debt covenants, and monitor key indicators of trouble, he explains, during the course of a recent email interaction with Business Line.


Monday, February 9, 2009

'Governance aspects are streamlined and automated'

Growing beyond silos

Today, there is far more acceptability in the government corridors for undertaking an ambitious project that targets all components simultaneously, says Navin Agrawal, Executive Director, KPMG. The government is willing to look at the concept of e-Governance in totality, and apply it as such rather than pick up a specific area or domain where it could be implemented, he explains, during a recent e-mail interaction with eWorld.


'Voice is considered passé by all'

‘Share telecom resources to deliver more value’

By sharing infrastructure, innovation and expertise, by avoiding duplications or re-inventing the wheel or the sliced bread, the public and private sector telecom players can deliver more value, says Brijendra K (BK) Syngal, former Chairman and Managing Director of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).


'The Vedas contain a lot of mantras which focus on welfare, prosperity and wealth'

Ancient values for modern managers

What accounts for the sudden downfall of otherwise successful organisations? Are there any insights from the scriptures in this regard? In answer to these questions, Dr S. Kannan, a Chennai-based chartered accountant, and author of Vedic Management (, finds it apt to cite the maxim ‘Vinasa kale viparita buddhih,’ which in Sanskrit means that when one is on the path of destruction, his mind gets perverted. “This happens due to the negative vasanas (inherent impressions) of a person which suddenly manifest and show the true colours,” he explains during the course of a recent email interaction with Business Line.


'We rarely have accounting scandals where the cash is misrepresented'

Inflated cash and bank balances, most shocking in Satyam

Could analysts have unearthed the malaise in the reported statements of Satyam? Or, at least, what lessons can they take away from this episode and apply to other statements? Pose these questions to Mr Siva Nathan, Associate Professor, School of Accountancy, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, US, and this is what he has as answer: “I have looked at the Satyam financial statements carefully after the scandal broke. Looking at the same in hindsight I have made the following observations: Satyam reported operating margin of 24 per cent of revenues. Satyam generally quotes lower rates than competitors.”